How to Share Files Over The Internet
The Internet has opened up a number of possibilities for distribution of information and ideas to any part of the globe, with just a few clicks. The speedy development of Internet technology, now means that we are able to send a great number of digital files, be it videos, photos, software or documents, to any place we desire over the Internet. A number of innovative websites and applications have been developed, especially, to share files over the Internet. Thus, you can now send, receive or access any file you wish to, by simply using any of the following methods of file transfer. Read on to know more on how to share files over the internet.
Early Methods of File Sharing
Earlier, file sharing was only possible by the use of removable storage devices such as punched tape or punched cards, magnetic tape data storage, cassette tape, and ROM. After a while, floppies were invented and used, which were then replaced by CD-ROMs and flash media. The bulletin board system or BBS was started in 1978 and is still being used. This was an early predecessor to present day chat-rooms and forums. A year after that Usenet was created, which allowed users to have discussions on topics online and also transfer files. The file transfer protocol or FTP was started in 1985 and became widely used and accepted. This allowed files to be shared to and from a central server. In 1988, the Internet relay chat was created which allowed users to directly share files with each other, along with allowing for direct and group chat conferencing. The creation of the world wide web and the creation of compressed music in the mp3 format, then gave rise to a number of other websites including MP3, Audiogalaxy and Napster. This created a lot of controversy especially regarding the transfer of copyrighted material and many new digital intellectual copyright laws were passed. Nowadays, many hosting sites and peer to peer networks exist, and can be used to share files over the Internet.
How to Share Files Over the Internet:
There are quite a few options available to us today, making it possible to share files over the Internet to any network or computer in the world. Some of the methods you can use are:
File Transfer Protocol or FTP:
This is one of the oldest methods of file transfer that is used today, albeit in a new and improved fashion. It involves the use of FTP clients and servers, which help the user in making file transfers. The user who needs the file, only needs a FTP client on his computer, and he can request the FTP server to allow him to download it. If the FTP server allows this request, the client then searches all the directories and allows the user to download it. Nowadays, there are a number of free FTP software, that can be used which have an easy-to-use interface, compared to when it was used earlier.
Imagine being able to sit at home on your computer and accessing all the content on your friend's computer from a distance. This is possible and is legal, as long as both parties have agreed to it. Remote accessing allows the user to access and manipulate a computer. Even running programs and applications is possible using remote access. The security for this is very tight and might vary according to the application you are using. Common remote access applications are, pcAnywhere from Symantec and Timbuktu from Netopia. They need a high speed Internet connection for operating smoothly.
Peer to Peer Networks:
A peer to peer network is a network where all the users share a bit of their resources such as bandwidth and storage space with other users, thus making it possible to have an unlimited but user dependent, storage and processing capacity. So in the case of peer to peer networks, the more the merrier. It can be used for downloading or transferring bigger files like movies, video games and computer applications. It allows users to download these files from other users who have hosted them on their computers. BitTorrent is a type of peer to peer where the files are downloaded bit by bit to the user's computer. Read more on how to do a peer to peer connection setup.
File Hosting Services:
A lot of websites, nowadays, allow you to store files on their servers and also to share them with a number of users via their website. The most common file hosting sites are Rapidshare and Megaupload. A number of email sites also allow storing data online, but there is a limit on the file size that can be uploaded each time. These sites allow storing of large files including videos, games, pictures and also software. Many of the freeware and shareware are also available on these sites. Read more on online file storage and backup solutions.
These are the commonest options that you can use to share files over the Internet. One should be very careful while sharing or downloading files from the Internet, though, as there are a number of security risks including accidentally downloading hidden Trojans or viruses and infected files. Make sure you have a good antivirus software on your computer, to help you detect such files. Also avoid downloading copyrighted or illegal material as this is a crime, although widespread and it could get you in trouble. Also keep your firewall on and always use a strong password to prevent anybody from accessing your system. Be responsible while sharing files and be careful whom you share information with. For more information on how to share files over the internet in the safest way possible, see: Internet safety and Internet security. Now go on and share all you want to share with the world.